How Modern “Truth” Opposes Christianity

How Modern “Truth” Opposes Christianity

In Revisiting the Idea of Truth I discussed how Americans’ abandonment of the ancient view of truth has destroyed rationality and common sense and put our country squarely on the path to destruction. That discussion was focused strictly on the secular, intellectual aspect of truth. This essay will focus on the religious aspect.

As I noted, the ancient idea of truth is as follows: Truth is what is so; untruth is what is not so. A statement is true when it reflects reality and false when it does not. Its modern replacement is that each of us creates his/her own truth and reality, that we do so through feeling (emotion) rather than thoughtand that neither evidence nor logic can disprove what we create.

From all indications, many Christians have embraced the new idea of truth and see no conflict between it and their faith.

On Sunday they go to church, listen to passages from scripture and to a homily, then (depending on their church) receive a form of communion and recite these words of the Apostle’s Creed:

I believe in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried; he descended into hell; on the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty; from there he will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting.

In most churches, they also recite the prayer Jesus Himself gave us:

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil . . . For Thine is the Kingdom, and the Power, and the Glory forever.

When Christians recite the creed and the “Our Father,” they affirm the solemn beliefs that God is the creator of everything that ever was, is, or will beand that all of that vast kingdom, all of the power associated with it, and all the glory accompanying it, are His alone. Nowhere in that recitation is there a reference to humans being the creators of anything, let alone all of truth and reality

And yet, many of the people who recite those solemn beliefs on Sunday, spend the other days of the week acting as if they were the authors of truth and reality about all manner of things right and wrong, good and bad, and wise and foolish. 

Perhaps some of these people are hypocritical, but I think more are simply oblivious to the contradiction they are living. But either way, to believe humans create their own truth and reality is an insult to God and an impediment to following Sacred Scripture. Let me be more specific:

Scripture tells us to strive for prudence, justice, temperance, fortitude, faith, hope, and charity, and to avoid pride, envy, wrath, sloth, greed, gluttony, and lust. Given our human imperfection, we will often feel like doing the exact opposite of what Scripture tells us. Believing that we create truth and reality gives us license to ignore Scripture and follow our feelings. And that same belief urges us to regard the Ten Commandments as outdated rules that unnecessarily stifle our desires.

When I say believing we create truth and reality is an insult to God, I am referring to the triune God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It insults the Father by denying His role as creator. It insults the Son by ignoring His claim not only to “testify to the truth” but to BE the truth. (John 14:6, 18:37). It insults the Holy Spirit by closing our minds to His role of teaching “all things” and helping us remember Jesus’ teachings. (John 14:26)

Thus do the modern ideas of truth and reality oppose Christianity. There is simply no way to reconcile the opposing points of view. If one belief is true, the other is false. There is no middle ground. If we affirm that God the Father is the author of truth and Jesus is truth, then we must reject the idea that we create our own truth. More than that, we must not allow our feelings to decide what is true. Instead, we must do as God intends—use our minds to seek truth and embrace what we find as an act of obedience to, and love for, our Creator. The moment we begin to do this, we will gain the humility to understand our human imperfection and surrender our minds to the Holy Spirit’s guidance toward wisdom.

The fallacy that people create their own truth and reality has not only created social chaos, but it has also  undermined many people’s relationship with God. That is why I believe that of all the tasks that religious leaders have in this age, the most important one is to help restore the traditional cultural and religious view of truth and reality.

Copyright © 2024 by Vincent Ryan Ruggiero. All rights reserved.

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Vincent Ryan Ruggiero